Moses took the staff away from God's presence, as commanded.
He and Aaron rounded up the whole congregation in front of the rock. Moses spoke: "Listen, rebels! Do we have to bring water out of this rock for you?"
With that Moses raised his arm and slammed his staff against the rock - once, twice. Water poured out. Congregation and cattle drank.
God said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you didn't trust me, didn't treat me with holy reverence in front of the People of Israel, you two aren't going to lead this company into the land that I am giving them."
These were the Waters of Meribah (Bickering) where the People of Israel bickered with God, and he revealed himself as holy.
Moses sent emissaries from Kadesh to the king of Edom with this message: "A message from your brother Israel: You are familiar with all the trouble we've run into.
Our ancestors went down to Egypt and lived there a long time. The Egyptians viciously abused both us and our ancestors.
But when we cried out for help to God, he heard our cry. He sent an angel and got us out of Egypt. And now here we are at Kadesh, a town at the border of your land.
"Will you give us permission to cut across your land? We won't trespass through your fields or orchards and we won't drink out of your wells; we'll keep to the main road, the King's Road, straying neither right nor left until we've crossed your border."
The king of Edom answered, "Not on your life. If you so much as set a foot on my land, I'll kill you."
The People of Israel said, "Look, we'll stay on the main road. If we or our animals drink any water, we'll pay you for it. We're harmless - just a company of footsore travelers."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)